By Sarah Lapidus
City College arranged a series of cannabis workshops this summer that will continue into the fall and may provide the groundwork for future courses about cannabis and its industry, according to City College officials.
Titled “Curious About Cannabis,” these workshops were implemented at the right time. Since California legalized cannabis in January 2018 with the passing of Prop 64, experts estimated cannabis sales at $3.7 billion by the end of the year. It would add 340,000 full-time jobs by 2022.
Subsequently, the college identified community interest around cannabis and created workshops introducing students to the basics of cannabis and the booming industry.
“We want to make sure that we are paving a path for success in the industry,” City College Trustee Tom Temprano said.
“We are open to future opportunities for additional cannabis curriculum,” Temprano said, adding it’s too early to know if these workshops will lead to a cannabis department or degree classes.
City College convened a group of industry leaders involved in the various phases of the marijuana production process — from cultivation to retail and processing — to assemble a curriculum that addresses the needs of the students.
“Our instructors worked closely with the College’s Academic Affairs Department to develop the workshop series,” the college Media Relations Director stated in an email.
“These workshops are a great first step at engaging the students. We are already out there engaging with industry leaders about what their employment needs would be,” Temprano said. He said he could not reveal the industry leaders involved.
This fall semester, following Series 1 of the workshops that took place in July, City College offered Series 2 of the workshops in early August. Each workshop admits 10 to 15 students and covers a variety of topics — from the basics of cannabis, to its medicinal uses, to the perspectives of cannabis from a historical and legal standpoint.
These courses were financed by the college’s regular budget and a $60 class fee paid by students.
“These classes mark the college’s first venture into offering cannabis-related coursework and will help inform the development of similar types of innovative and relevant programming moving forward,” said Theresa Rowland, the associate vice chancellor of workforce and economic development.
As of 2017, other accredited universities that offer cannabis-related curriculum, included the University of Vermont; Northern Michigan University; University of California, Davis; Ohio State University; University of Washington School of Medicine; and the University of Denver.